Ethics in Winkler County Nurse Whistleblower Case

Ethics in Professional Nursing Organization

Nowadays, ethics and advocacy are highly important components of nursing and any kind of medical practice, and there is a variety of nursing organizations that tend to focus on the active development and constant improvement of the healthcare system. One of them is National League for Nursing, and it specializes in providing grants for education in the sphere of nursing while aiming at building a competent and qualified workforce and addressing various ethical issues (National League for Nursing, 2017).

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It is evident that, in its documents, this organization mostly covers the main values in the context of nursing education while prioritizing the concepts like high-quality services, effective collaboration, integrity, diversity, and professional excellence (National League for Nursing, 2012). Overall, these ethical principles promote patient-centered care, the importance of being highly dedicated, autonomy in decision-making, and the ideas of mutual respect.

When analyzing the values discussed above, it could be said that they will help a student understand the key principles of medical practice, as, now, it not only implies providing medical assistance but also a collaboration with different individuals including management, patients, and physicians, working in an interdisciplinary environment, and being a role model. Apart from being descriptive, they tend to be rather limited with a strong focus on behavior and acceptable actions of a nurse.

Nevertheless, they do not provide profound insights about legal aspects or discuss potential ways of resolving ethical dilemmas that nurses face regularly. Overall, it could be said the lack of this information creates gaps and may cause misunderstandings, but identified principles provide a general overview of ethics and their working mechanism.

Winkler County

According to the case in Winkler County, two nurses made an anonymous report to the Texas Medical Board covering their concerns about Dr. Arafiles’ actions (Lowes, 2011). Their computers were seized, and they were fired after being discovered as reporters while the Sheriff also accused them and claimed that they disclosed this information to harm the doctor (Lowes, 2011). In the first place, the major ethical concern was a decision whether or not to report potential misconduct of the doctor to the Texas Medical Board, as ethics in some cases can be interpreted differently.

Speaking of legal problems, the existent law had gaps, as the authorities did not consider that any nurse could be prosecuted for reporting the cases of misconduct or expressing any concerns about medical practice (Joel, 2013). Generally speaking, this case created a dissonance in society and attracted the attention of the authorities.

Apart from hurting nurses and their emotional condition, this case had a positive effect on Texas law while making necessary adjustments to it. The major changes were introduced to whistleblower laws that implied the necessity to report the cases when the quality of the provided services and their appropriateness were questionable (Joel, 2013). As it was mentioned earlier, the possibility of the prosecution was the major gap, but, now, the reporters are protected from prosecution (Joel, 2013). In this instance, it implies the constant improvement of the quality of the provided services since the employees can report cases of misconduct freely. Overall, it could be said that this adjustment to law promotes ethics and mutual respect, and these cases are important triggers of social change and development.

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Joel, L. (2013). Advanced practice nursing: Essentials of role development. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.

Lowes, R. (2011). Texas physician pleads guilty in whistle-blowing nurses case. Medscape. Web.

National League for Nursing. (2012). Ethical principles for nursing education. Web.

National League for Nursing. (2017). Overview. Web.

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